tv Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords on Gun Violence CSPAN October 2, 2017 3:02pm-3:21pm EDT
>> earlier today, gabby giffords whofts shot in sthretch, and her husband, mark kelly, spoke to reporters outside the capitol. they called for gun control legislation in the light of the mass shooting in las vegas. >> good morning, everyone. the gun violence prevention organization founded by former congresswoman gabrielle giffords and his husband captain mark kelly. gabby is here to share a few remarks. i'll hand it over to mark.
mark: good afternoon, everybody. today is a very dark day for our great country. thousands of lives are forever changed by what happened last night in las vegas. over 55 people are dead. over 500 have been wounded, and this tragedy has fundamentally altered the lives of countless families, thousands of people. they will have to learn to lead very different lives. as gabby has. as i have. they are not alone. we are not alone. every year roughly 33,000 people die from guns. ver 100,000 more are shot.
this is the worst-case scenario. it's haunted our dreams. that we would wake up to the news of a massacre gabby and i -- massacre like. this weapons of war in the hands of a determined killer with a tactical advantage. this was an ambush if there ever was one. this was domestic terrorism. gabby and i are heartbroken. days like today remind us and many others how quickly things can change. we are angry. but we also have a choice. we can offer thoughts and prayers and move on through life numb to these losses. we can accept these galing reality. we can accept the wounds. we can accept that folks like gabby will just have to pay the
price for the status quo. we could accept the enormous social, moral and economic costs imposed on this country by accepting gun violence as simply the cost of living in america. r we can choose courage. we can decide that this problem is worthy of our greatest efforts. we can reject the idea that this is inevitable. we can distance ourselves from dogma and political point scoring. we can also reject special interests. we can demand that the leaders we elect go to work in the building behind me and the one right down the street don't have the option to say this is just too hard.
what we're hearing today at the capitol and the white house are houghts and prayers. thoughts and prayers are important. we send our thoughts and prayers too, but they are not enough. your thoughts and prayers aren't going to stop the next shooting. only action and leadership will do that. for years gabby and i have been working to get the people in this building to summon the courage to take meaningful action that make our communities safer places to live. but despite the tragedies in places like aurora, newton, orlando, despite daily shootings in communities across america, despite senseless eadly gun-related domestic
violence, despite an epidemic of preventable suicides, despite the problem of toddlers shooting toddlers and their parents, the response from congress has been to do nothing. absolutely nothing. incredibly congress is currently working on legislation that would weaken our gun laws. imagine how much worse last night's shooting could have been if the gunman had a ilencer. imagine the confusion for first responders if they arrived on the scene to a bunch of civilians wielding their own guns, attempting to return fire. imagine the gun lobby's version of society. everyone armed. everyone out for themselves. everyone at risk all of the time. folks, that's just going backwards. we do not have to live this way.
here in america we are 25 times more likely to die from gun violence compared to people in other industrialized countries. in fact, no other country like urs comes close. this must stop. my fellow americans, we don't have to accept this as normal. it's not normal. it's not inevitable. it's an epidemic that needs to be cured. and we need to marshal every resource and make every effort to stop people from dying. make no mistake. there are steps that they can take today to address the over 33,000 gun deaths that occur in our nation every single year. if we want to make our country safer, we can't just be working
to defeat bad legislation. like federally mandated concealed carry and the deregulation of silencers. we must be working to pass good legislation that keeps extremely deadly weapons out of the wrong hands. but in order to do that, we, you must demand leadership. we need a president who recognizes that we have a gun violence problem and will work towards solutions. americans need more than our president's prayers. we need his plan. we need a congress that will stand up to the special interests, look to the evidence and act to save lives. public safety must be our top riority. gabby and i are in d.c. today
because we have planned on joining ralph northham, candidate on the campaign trail talking about how to keep our communities safer. it's because politics matters. who we elect matters. don't let anyone tell you not to talk about politics when we talk about guns. gabby got into politics because she wanted to govern. the people we elect will either take us backwards, condemning us to many more days when we wake up to more carnage and more lost lives or they will take us forward towards a safer country. here are a few things that our leaders can do and should do today that will keep americans safer. pass universal background checks to make sure everyone gets a background check before they obtain a gun. the studies are clear. where these laws are passed,
fewer people get shot. where they have been repealed, murder and violence has increased. subject the sale of the most lethal weapons to stronger oversight and regulation. you can buy an ar-15 in a parking lot with no background check at all. that's crazy. requiring guns to be safely secured in the homes of gun owners so kids can't get their hands on them. so unstable relatives don't have access to them. stop domestic abusers from getting guns. women are too often killed by abusers with firearms and most mass shootings start as domestic violence incidents. allow restraining orders just like we do with a domestic abuser. to stop folks in crisis from accessing guns. stop the trafficking of firearms from states with weaker laws to states with stronger laws.
and require the c.d.c. and our other public health agencies to invest the resources to prevent un deaths and injuries like we do for every other similar ause of death or injury. and as a first step, congress -- and we're calling congress to do this -- to establish a special commission, equal parts democrats and republicans, to come together towards solutions that will save lives. and finally, don't let anybody tell you that we need more giveaways to the n.r.a., more profits for the gun industry. does anybody actually believe that our gun laws are too strong? give me a break. action to save lives is the only acceptable moral course for our country.
without action we are asking ne person to be the next person, to die because of our weakness to address evil. and then another and then another and then another. gabby. ms. giffords: the nation's counting on you. ark: thank you, everybody. yeah, i'll take some questions. reporter: what do you think -- [inaudible] -- we've been at this over and over again. -- why has this never resonated?
mark: good point. it's the polarization of our politics. it's people lining up on the side of a powerful corporate interest with a lot of money who by the way happens to support a lot of candidates with a lot of resources to get them elected to office. and that's a problem. and it needs to be addressed. reporter: how do you overcome that? mark: we've been working to overcome that with the resources that we have. right? to put the people in office that will accept this as a public health issue, that will work to come up with responsible and sensible solutions that by the way protect the second amendment. but at the same time keep guns out of the wrong hands. now, the resources are not balanced. so we obviously are always looking, you know -- you know, it's quite out of balance until we work on fixing campaign finance reform, it will stay out of balance. reporter: mark, if congress didn't do anything after gabby
was shot and didn't do anything after orlando or sandy hook, what gives you any hope at this point they'll do something now? mark: right now they're going in the wrong direction. there are a couple pieces of legislation up there that's working to make silencers readily available to everybody, where everybody can carry a gun basically in any state if they can carry in another state, getting rid of gun-free guns in schools. they are going in the wrong direction. we need to move them in the right direction. what it takes is for people that puts these folks in office to demand action. you know, make a phone call. it's pretty easy to do and not a lot of people do it. call your member of congress. call your united states senator. call your governor and tell them that you want action. reporter: as a follow-up on that, what kind of legislation do you think would have best minimized the carnage in las vegas? mark: i outlined some things today. right. background checks for all gun sales is a good first step. gun trafficking. really taking a hard look at what kind of lethal weapons
should we allow people to get easy access to. i mean, we don't have all the details in the shooting today but it was pretty clear he used some kind of automatic weapon. maybe multiple automatic weapons to do this. i mean, these weapons are designed to kill a lot of people very quickly. reporter: you talked about the polarization of politics. ow do you stop it? mark: one thing you can do is campaign finance reform is a good start. when we started americans for responsible solutions our goal was just to bring some balance on this issue and we're working towards that goal. we've helped pass 200 pieces of legislation in over 45 different states. on the state level we've done pretty well. we feel pretty good about it. but you know, washington, d.c., much more difficult place. reporter: your response of trying to work on this issue from the inside. you have been working on the outside. would you be a better advocate inside?
mark: every time somebody asks that question do i think about it. gabby and i have been incredibly effective. our organization in getting legislation passed in more than 45 state capitols so we're moving this in the right direction but until we seriously accept this and the people in that building accept this as a serious public health crisis on both sides of the aisle, we will have other mass shootings like this. reporter: what do you say to people, democrats -- there are people who agree with you on this issue broadly that coming out on this day of a shooting like this is politicizing it and not appropriate. mark: if not now, when? right? gabby and i have all those folks in our thoughts and prayers. we had over 50 americans die. 500 more injured by gunfire. probably from a .223 caliber round that can fly through multiple people and cause mass carnage.
you know when you are not going to talk about it on a day like this, how many times can we say that over and over again, now is not the time? well, today is the time. reporter: [inaudible] mark: they're deadly because unstable people and people that shouldn't have access to these kind of guns can easily get them. i mean, why is this one worse than orlando? i don't know. maybe after the investigation we'll find out what this guy's intent was. it's pretty obvious that he went after a group of people. he ambushed a group of people that didn't have anyplace to go and there were a lot of them. nd he had a lot of fire power. so who knows. reporter: a lot what you are suggesting, they're half measures as compared to what happened in australia. will it ever be possible in the united states to eliminate the
fetishization of gun culture that has a special interest built up, or are we going to be working around the second amendment for a long time? mark: i'm a gun owner. gabby is a gun owner. i'm a supporter of the second amendment. i served our nation for 25 years in the united states navy. i flew in combat defending our constitution and the bill of rights, second amendment is important here in this country. however, you know, we can respect the second amendment and the rights of responsible gun owners and at the same time we can keep guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, you know, potential mass shooters and idiots. mean, we can do that. you know, and we got 33,000 -- well, last year, actually, 2015 i think 35,000 americans died from gun violence. that number has been kind of trending up in the last couple years. hey, there's more reason why it can't be 70,000. but if we're smart about this and demand that these people in
the building behind me take action, we can cut that number in half. there's no reason why we can't. we don't have to have -- you know, most of the children that die in the industrialized world from gun violence die here in the united states. i mean, is that really what we want? the sad -- the sad thing is that we can fix this. thank you, everybody. >> thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]